Monday, 15 May 2017

Sails and Splitties

After several long months in the wilderness, we both decided on Thursday last week that we really fancied doing a show.  We put it to our Facebook followers and had several suggestions, but one in particular caught our eye: Avoncroft Aircooled – a one day show taking place at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings. 
I had vague recollections of going there as a kid; notably being frightened to death by one of the costumed staff warning me that “The whiter your bread, the sooner you’re dead,” when teaching us about the flour milling process.  To this day, I have residual guilt whenever I choose white over brown. 

Still, all I could really remember of the place was the windmill, so the prospect of being able to explore everything the museum had to offer in between trading, seemed like a fine plan.  A quick glance at the forecast suggested warm, dry weather until 8 pm, so plenty of time for us to pack up and head home before the rain.  Gaz made the call and we were booked in and ready to go. 

Typically, we can’t go anywhere without producing a souvenir sticker and so here’s the first ever show sticker produced for Avoncroft Aircooled.  Note the FLAT 4 number plate – a little nod to the organisers.

After a relatively dry Eurovision party on Saturday night (early start), we awoke to glorious sunshine.

On arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff and directed to an idyllic setting in amongst the trees, just in front of the Mission Church, a Victorian “tin chapel” rescued from Bringsty, Herefordshire.

The Mission Church and Wedding Bus

The whole vibe was low key and chilled out.  We took limited stock and downsized for the day.  After an initial downpour, the sun returned and the numerous green spaces were awash with picnics and ball games.

The Voodoo Street Stand

In readiness for this year’s Star Wars themed Vdubs in the Valley, we took along some flyers to help promote the show and our Steampunk Boba Fett helmet, which I could have sold several times over!  Coincidentally our neighbour was trading under the name OB1.

Trade was steady and we were the sole provider of music, courtesy of our BruteBox.  I recently replaced my phone and stupidly omitted to download the vast majority of my music to enable me to play it offline.  The one album I had remembered to download was the new Blondie album, Pollinator, so apologies to any visitors who can’t stand Blondie (can’t imagine there are many), but it’s all I had!!

The Privy

During one of our trading lulls, Cal and I discovered this 3 seater privy.  It was probably up there with some of the nicer festival toilets!
Ye Olde Festival Toilet

A must was a visit to the iconic post mill windmill, perched at the edge of the site, overlooking a sea of campervans.  Visitors to the museum and VDubbers mingled in the sunshine.  One elderly museum visitor made the priceless comment on a rat look split screen:  "There's one that they're going to do up!"

View from the Windmill

The 19th century post mill – one of only three surviving examples in 

the Midlands – was rescued from Danzey Green near Tanworth-in-

Arden in 1969 and reconstructed at Avoncroft.

Having undergone an extensive programme of structural repairs over

many years, disaster struck the windmill in January 2012 when high

winds brought down one of the sails and damaged the supporting round 

house.  The sail was broken beyond repair and a new one had to be 

manufactured to replace it.  However, by October 2013 the work was 

completed and the windmill was restored to full working order.

Splitscreens were out in force
Spot the little rat skeleton on the roof rack!

One of the first to grab a show sticker was the owner of this cool rat look bus.
The day flew by and punctuated by a little Mobile BeerBuz cider 

(thanks Gaz and Hayley), left us with a rosy glow and a desire to do it 

all again next year – a perfect start to the outdoor show season.

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